Sisters Andrine and Ada Hegerberg helped inspire Norway to a resounding 3-0 victory over Netherlands and they are leading the call for a repeat performance against Spain on Sunday as the sides vie to join Germany in the last four.
You occasionally have to double-check this is the UEFA European Women's Under-19 Championship when Norway are on show. Ten of the squad will still be available next season and in the 15-year-old Ada Hegerberg, a versatile forward, they possess the youngest player in Cervia. Her sister, left midfielder Andrine, is two years her junior, a creaking 17.
One replaced the other in the 3-1 opening day defeat by Germany, but the Hegerbergs were used in tandem in Imola on Thursday. Jarl Torkse certainly had no cause for regret, a 3-0 win putting Norway in the driving seat for second in Group A ahead of their meeting with Spain – a draw would see them through if the Netherlands fail to beat Germany by three goals.
The pair are not even contemplating a share of the spoils, however: they want them all. "I lost against them in the semi-final of the Under-17 tournament two years ago – it wasn't a good game for us," said Andrine. "Revenge on Sunday," her sister quickly added as they prepare for what could be only their third outing together at this level. The first, on 2 April, saw both score in a crucial second qualifying round victory over Croatia to leave their watching mother and grandfather crying.
There could be more tears come 11 June as the Hegerbergs aim to become the first sisters to claim this title since twins Monique and Isabel Kerschowski did so with Germany in 2007. "My parents and grandfather are here this time but will leave shortly after [Sunday's game]," said Andrine. "They will come back the following Saturday if we reach the final."
The pair have followed an almost identical path from the isolated village of Sunndalsora in northern Norway – "when teams came, they said the mountains looked like a twelfth player," said Andrine. They were snapped up by Kolbotn IL and under former Norwegian international Dan Eggen they have gone from strength to strength at a prodigious rate over the past two years.
"He was kind of new at first but now he's a good fit," said Ada. "He is very smart and has taught us a lot." Torske must be grateful: Norway certainly are.
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